The Mojo Gurus – Gone | Album Review

The Mojo Gurus – Gone

MRi Entertainment

15 songs

The Mojo Gurus are a high energy rock band out of the Tampa Bay, Florida area.  Kevin Steele leads the band, writes the songs and plays harp.   Vinnie Granese is on bass and guitars and assists on vocals.  Sean Doyle is the percussionist and also sings.  Doc Lovett is on electric and acoustic guitars. Seven other artists assist on keys, horns, strings and sitar.  It’s a huge sound and production.  They play a mix of styles, but the glam rock genre predominates.  The style moves around and they play some metal, rockabilly, psychedelic, and alternative and hard rock.  Nowhere are there any blues to be heard.

“Real Gone Groove (Pt. 1),” “Love Somebody” and “Fifty Miles South of the Border” open things up.  All three are straight up rockers, with the opening song just an instrumental that warms the listener up with rock and funk and, aptly, a huge groove. Driving beats, lots fill, big guitars, and a gritty vocal sound.  “All I Do is Cry” is a big time rock ballad that might remind some of slow blues but it’s a big rock ballad with a stinging, huge guitar with lots of echo in support of the emotive and modified vocals. “Monkey Off My Back” has a “Hand Jive” sort of vibe and intro and then breaks into a massive guitar attack.  It’s a heavy metal sort of rock cut.  The funk comes out in “Busted,” a rocky funk number with big horns and guitar behind a strong groove.  “What’s Wrong With You” mixes rockabilly and punk overtones in an interesting tune with lyrics that rival the woes of a down home country song.  “Two Smokin’ Barrels” is next and it’s “Peter Gunn” meets Metallica.

“Never Met a Girl Like You Before” is a ballad with acoustic lead guitar, fiddles and a down home meets the New York Dolls cut.  It’s back to hard rock with a tad of a psychedelic approach.  Driving guitar, amped up vocals, a heavy backline.  “Roll With Me Sister” reminded me again of the Dolls or perhaps Mott the Hoople. “Prelude to Light” is a weird intro to “Step Into the Light” a full scale psychedelic rock song.  Sitar, all sort of vocals and instrumentals intertwined; it’s wild.  “(We’re All Going) Straight to Hell” reminds me of “Slade” or any of the glam rock bands (NY Dolls, Mott, etc.).  Driving beat and big guitars are again the main emphasis.  The album closes to “Real Gone Groove (Pt. 2),” an reprise of the opening cut with the instrumental groove taking us home.

It’s an interesting album.  The vocals reminded me a little of Ian Hunter but the effects make the song nasal and distorted (intentionally).  It was different, hearkening to a metal mixed with glam rock approach.  The guitars are huge with lots of effect.  The horns play in with abandon when called on.  The strings gave some nice effects in the quiet number and the sitar was cool.  If you like metallic glam rock with hints of rockabilly and other rock styles it might be worth a listen. If you are looking for blues it’s a pass.

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